A firm which designs wearable tech for cows is celebrating after raising more than £3m to help fund its global expansion.
Silent Herdsman has been handed the golden bull by a group of investors including Scottish Equity Partners, Albion Ventures and the Scottish Investment Bank.
Its technology uses a "decision-support platform" which uses a behaviour-monitoring collar to suss out what a cow is up to. The patented techniques "deliver highly accurate health predictions resulting in improvements in animal health, increased milk yield, and enhanced profitability for farmers on a rapid payback".
There's a big market for this technology, as Stuart Paterson, of Scottish Equity Partners pointed out.
“There are currently over 1 billion beef and dairy cows world-wide and over 34m dairy cows in the EU and US alone," he said. "This number is continuing to grow as countries get wealthier and demand for dairy products increases. As a result, this represents a market opportunity of over $1bn per annum to Silent Herdsman."
One of Silent Herdsman's most important functions allows farmers to decide when to carry out artificial insemination.
Key to this is detecting a beast's fertility by analysing oestrogen levels and using a formula along the lines of: hot cow = horny cow. Once a warm beast with high hormone levels is spotted, farmers know its time to get busy with the bull sperm.
Annette MacDougall, CEO at Silent Herdsman, said: “This investment underpins our unique and distinguishing product features and represents a significant endorsement towards our global expansion plans.
"The Silent Herdsman predictive analytic software platform is uniquely positioned to assist dairy and beef farms globally to bolster productivity gains, improve operational performance and increase profit on farm.”
Silent Herdsman used to go under the rather more prosaic name of Embedded Technology Solutions Limited.
On a customer testimonials page, farmers described their excitement at being able to plot their cows' sex lives in intimate detail.
"Now we can pin point the exact time for insemination with Silent Herdsman," wrote Steve Brown of Burton Overy, Leicestershire.
"Silent Herdsman detects and highlights the right time for the artificial insemination process," ejaculated Wallace Magowan of Bangor , Northern Ireland. "This fact, I know will provide a return on investment that allows me to budget my insemination costs more efficiently in the future with accurate prediction day one."
Before wearable technology came along, farmers used to rely on traditional techniques to decide how horny their herd is. According to this rundown of signs that a cow is getting amorous, you should probably start to close the gate if Daisy starts trying to mount you. Likewise, if she's acting restlessly or mooing a lot, sexy time has started. Be very afraid. ®